Tonight I raised a toast to the passing of one of this century’s greatest photographers. Not actually to his passing but a toast of respect to a man who has done more than his share for photography (and bothered to live to 92 years of age to leave us an even greater legacy of his gorgeous work).
Irving Penn, was the master of the elegant studio image in black and white. Renowned for stark, simple and engaging images of fashion, he created magnificent silhouettes of models and photographed an outstanding 150 Vogue covers. Penn rarely shot on location, he loved to photograph heads of states, artist, tribesman and the man on the street in front of his mottled grey backdrop. I believe Irving Penn has inspired many great studio photographers including the likes of photographic gods, Richard Avedon and Paolo Roversi.
Thanks Mr Penn for trying to so hard to please that woman in Kansas! Along the way you pleased the entire photographic world and inspired thousands of photographers. Merci beaucoup.